Currently viewing the tag: "Dear Ariel"

I’ve been trying to make “Dear Ariel” a regular Friday feature, but today is our Early Notification deadline, which makes it the perfect time for Ariel’s choice of FAQ.

Dear Ariel:  I just submitted my application and when I login to GAMS it says everything is missing.  Help!

First:  Congrats!  You just submitted your application!  Now, take a deep breath, and remain calm.

After you submit your application, you will receive an email with your username and password to login to the Tufts Graduate and Professional Schools Application Management System.  We like to call it GAMS for short.  If you don’t receive this message, check your spam folder.  If you still can’t find the email, do not distress!  Just email us and we will send you a new username and password.

You can login to GAMS to check the status of your application, and also to see if you are missing any application materials.  Because we process your application by hand, after you press submit, all of your materials will initially be marked “missing.”  This won’t change until our hard-working admissions staff members are able to print off your application, place it in a file, give you a nice shiny label, pull any additional items from our filing cabinet, and manually go through your new file, checking off each required item as they go along.  Please allow us 10 days to complete all of these steps before you get worried about any missing items.   We’ll also contact you if anything is missing.

A special note, if your recommenders are submitting their letters electronically, we cannot process your application until all of them have submitted their recommendation letters.  This means that you should give us 10 days from the time your last recommender hits “submit” to process your application.  (Some gentle reminders to your recommenders will help move the process along.)

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Dear Ariel: Are my GRE scores good enough to get into Fletcher?

All MALD, MA, MIB, and PhD applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Text (GMAT).  Subject tests of the GRE are not required.

The Fletcher School’s Committee on Admissions views standardized test scores as part of the applicant’s total application, but not the most important part.  The Admissions Committee does not have a minimum requirement for GRE or GMAT test scores.

In recent years the middle 50% GRE verbal score has been in the 77th – 96th percentile range, the middle 50% GRE quantitative score in the 61st – 84th percentile range, and the middle 50% GRE analytical writing in the 49th – 92nd percentile range.  For the GMAT, the middle 50% has been in the 73rd – 92nd percentile range.

And just as a reminder, Fletcher cannot accept GRE/GMAT scores that are more than five years old. Happy testing!

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Dear Ariel:  If I apply to Fletcher by the Early Notification deadline, do I have a better chance of being admitted?

The short answer is, no, applying for Early Notification does not increase your chances of being admitted to Fletcher.  The Admissions Committee uses the same criteria to evaluate applicants who meet the Early and Regular deadlines.  The benefit of applying early is simply the possibility to receive an admissions decision by January 1.  Additionally, if the Committee on Admissions defers making a final decision, the application will receive a second round of review with the Regular Deadline applications.

Through the Early Notification process, the Committee on Admissions may decide to make an offer of admission or to deny admission, or may defer the application for further review with Regular Deadline applicants.  If an application is deferred, the applicant will be notified of an admissions decision in late March.  Students admitted through the Early Notification process, who have submitted a Fletcher Financial Aid Application, will be notified about their scholarship awards in late March.

Early Notification is available for September matriculation only.  Ph.D. candidates may not apply for Early Notification.  Early Notification is not binding, and Early Notification applicants may apply to other graduate programs.  Early Notification applicants who are denied admission will not be eligible to reapply for the Regular or Final Deadline of the same year.

And just as a reminder, the Early Notification deadline is in 13 days on November 15th. Good luck!

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Dear Ariel: I don’t have a score of 100 on my TOEFL iBT. Can I still get into Fletcher?

In addition to the GRE or GMAT, if your native language is not English and you have not earned a university degree (undergraduate degree, or graduate degree lasting two or more years) in which English was the language of instruction, you are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). A score of 600 on the standard TOEFL, 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 7 on the IELTS, or 68 on the PTE is generally considered evidence of sufficient English language ability for graduate study at The Fletcher School.

Non-native English speakers will succeed in Fletcher’s rigorous curriculum only if they have sufficient English language ability. Occasionally we will admit students with a score just below or above 100 but require that the student complete additional language training before enrolling. If you are concerned about your TOEFL scores, we encourage you to take the test again.

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Dear Ariel:  I have only limited (or no) professional, full-time work experience. What are my chances for getting into Fletcher?

Unfortunately, we are unable to assess your candidacy for admission before you apply to Fletcher.  This means that we aren’t able to tell you that with Y number of years work experience, you have a Z% chance of being accepted to Fletcher.  There just isn’t an easy algorithm for determining which students get in! The Committee of Admissions actively seeks to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, have a wide range of personal, professional, and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to an international career.  We seek students who, by virtue of their background, achievement, and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship and practice of international relations.  We’re looking to see, based on your background, if you have the ability to succeed and actively contribute to the diverse and vibrant Fletcher community.

What I can tell you, is that while full-time work experience is not required, it is strongly recommended. The Committee on Admissions carefully reviews each applicant’s personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at Fletcher.  Voluntary positions, internships, and part- and full-time experience all play a role in preparing students for study.

It is important to look at your program requirements as well.  For example, in the MIB and MALD programs, most successful applicants will have at least two to three years of full-time work experience.  Meanwhile, the MA is a mid-career degree program requiring eight or more years of professional experience.  Another thing to keep in mind is that the average age of entering Fletcher students is generally around 27.  The class entering in fall 2012 has students ranging in age from 21 to 46.

If you are concerned about your level of professional work experience and are currently an undergraduate senior, I would encourage you to check out Fletcher’s newest option:  Map Your Future.  Map Your Future guarantees admitted applicants a place in the MALD or MIB degree program after completing two to three years of professional work experience in a Fletcher-approved position.  This highly selective program is intended for those with excellent academic credentials and preparation, a clear professional focus, foreign language proficiency, and a demonstrated track record of success to date.  The program allows for professional development and career exploration while guaranteeing a position in a future class.

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The second installment of Ariel’s Frequently Answered Questions. 

Dear Ariel:  How can I get more information about scholarship opportunities at Fletcher?  How do I qualify for aid, and is aid also available to international students?

The Fletcher School awards over $6 million in scholarship aid annually.  Fletcher Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and need to both U.S. citizens/permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens.  Financial need is determined through an evaluation of an applicant’s resources, which includes income and asset information.  Merit is assessed through the application for admission.

The Fletcher School is committed to providing scholarship assistance to as many students as possible; however, our resources are limited.  While over ninety percent of the candidates requesting scholarship aid receive at least partial funding, Fletcher students need to formulate a financial plan that does not rely solely on Fletcher scholarship aid.  Fletcher scholarships typically range from $4,000 per academic year up to full tuition.  The middle 50 percent of scholarships awarded are in the $7,000 to $18,000 range.  Please note that Fletcher offers very few full tuition scholarships, and assistance to support living expenses is not available.

All applicants seeking scholarship aid must submit a complete Fletcher Scholarship Application (included with the Application for Admission) by January 10 for MALD applicants and March 1 for MIB and LLM applicants.  By completing the scholarship application, applicants are eligible for all Fletcher scholarships.  Scholarship recipients are notified at the time of admission.  Scholarships are renewable in the second year for those students who maintain full-time status and remain in good academic standing.  In the event that a student’s tuition charges are reduced, the Fletcher Scholarship will be pro-rated accordingly.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our website here. For more information on loans and employment, please visit our website here.


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I’m sure that advice columnists exist in every culture, but a particularly well-known practitioner of the genre in the U.S. is Dear Abby.  Well, the Dear Abby of the Fletcher Admissions intern team is Ariel, who masterfully answers the many emails sent to the Fletcher Admissions address whenever she reports to work in the office.  Today I’m launching “Ariel’s FAQs,” which I hope will be a regular feature.  Ariel is going to send me the questions (and answers) commonly on the mind of applicants for each week.  Here’s the first.

Dear Ariel:  Who should write my recommendation letters? And can I send my recommendation letters by mail?

We suggest that at least one letter come from a faculty member, academic dean, or an advisor familiar with your academic performance.  In addition, at least one letter should come from a professional supervisor, mentor, or colleague. The third recommender is up to you!  Choose someone you think can best speak to your preparedness and suitability for study at The Fletcher School.

We prefer that you use the online recommendation system included with our online application. Please instruct your recommenders to set any spam filters to allow all emails from, as this address will be used to communicate with them throughout the recommendation process.

Though we strongly prefer use of the online recommendation system, you may also print recommendation forms from the Supplemental Forms section of the online application and have your recommenders submit their letters in hard copy in a sealed envelope. Because things might get lost or delayed in the mail, we consider the online system the best way to submit your recommendation letters!

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